Showing posts with label prawns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prawns. Show all posts

Friday, January 20, 2017

Cheesy Shrimp Spinach Filo Pie #FishFridayFoodies

Crispy outside and savory inside, a slice of this rich cheesy shrimp spinach filo pie makes a great main course or addition to a brunch table.

Traditional fish pie with a creamy sauce, topped with mashed potatoes or puff pastry is one of our favorite things to eat, especially in a cozy pub on a chilly day. So when our organizer, Wendy of A Day in the Life on a Farm asked for host volunteers, I stepped forward thinking January would be the perfect time for a rich fish pie.

And, indeed, we are experiencing a bit of a chill here in Dubai. But, I’ll be honest, it’s not that cold. Also, from another project, I had some leftover filo pastry in the freezer that needed using up. If you’ve ever worked with filo, you know it can crack and break. But what I’ve figured out is that if you use the relatively whole pieces to make the bottom of the crust, you can just keep layering the small pieces and brushing them with butter and they come together nicely to complete a crunchy top.

Note: Keep the filo pastry covered with a damp cloth, removing one piece at a time as you layer the crust.

Olive oil for pan
Filo (sometimes spelled phyllo) pastry sheets – about 4 oz or 113g
2-3 large handfuls baby leaf spinach - don’t get hung up on weight. Just toss it in.
Sea salt - I use the fine stuff
Black pepper
12 oz or 350g shrimp, already peeled and cleaned
5 eggs
7 oz or 200g feta, crumbled
2 oz or 57g extra sharp cheddar, grated
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
Zest 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried herbs - I like a mix of thyme and marjoram
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and add in your spinach with a sprinkle of salt and a good couple of grinds of black pepper.

Cook for a few minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Remove from the pan and drain in a colander.

Add another drizzle of oil to the pan and cook the shrimp until pink, again adding a sprinkle of salt and a good couple of grinds of black pepper. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add your eggs, feta, cheddar cheese, lemon zest, herbs and some black pepper. Whisk to combine.

Fold in the drained spinach and the shrimp and add some more black pepper and cayenne, if desired.

Brush the bottom of your baking pan with butter. Layer your filo sheets one at a time, into the pan, brushing them with the melted butter before adding the next sheet. I had about 3 relatively intact sheets and lots of bits. Leave the ends hanging over the sides.

Pour in the filling and smooth out the top. Start laying the bits of filo on top, brushing with butter as you go.

Just keep adding filo and buttering until the top is a few layers thick.

Finally fold the overhanging filo sheets over the filling, covering the top as best you can. Brush the top and around the sides with more butter and use any broken pieces of filo to cover any holes in the top.

Use a sharp knife to make a vent hole in the middle of the pie so steam can get out and your filo will get crispy.

Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. If it’s browning too quickly, you can cover the top with foil.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for about 15-20 minutes before attempting to slice it.


Are you a fan of fish or seafood pies too? Then you are going to love this linky list! Click on the photos to see the recipes.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Coconut Curry Shrimp Noodles #FishFridayFoodies

When you have a craving for curry laksa noodles but don’t have the time, this quick spicy coconut curry shrimp pasta hits the perfect spot.

Last year around this time, my husband and I took off for a long weekend in the Seychelles. We booked a place online that looked idyllic, and indeed it proved to be. Set on a lush green hillside overlooking a gorgeous blue-green bay of the Indian Ocean, it was a one-bedroom chalet with a huge porch and a small, but well-equipped kitchen.

One of my favorite adventures in a new place is to explore the local markets and cook with local ingredients. To save from needing to buy essentials in a place where much is imported, I had done a little research to discover what we could bring safely and packed a cooler and a small suitcase with things like pasta and coffee.  The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands so I felt fairly certain seafood would be abundantly available. I had in mind a fish curry for dinner one of our nights, so I brought Thai red curry paste and a packet of coconut milk powder.

The view from our porch

We found local markets without a problem, even a couple that were roadside stands attached to farms, where we bought produce and fresh eggs mere steps from where they were produced. Score! Despite the Indian Ocean all the way around the island of Mahé where we were staying, fish and seafood were hard to find! We didn't know if they were exporting it all or if no one could be bothered to fish for a living but we eventually found a bag of frozen shrimp in a little supermarket to make the seafood curry. You’ll never guess where it came from. Yep, the United Arab Emirates. I should have just brought it from home in my cooler. It would have been way cheaper.

We did manage, finally, to eat local seafood at a seaside restaurant one evening so perhaps they know some fishermen personally. Also, we arrived at the central market in Victoria late one afternoon and there seemed to be a fish counter there, although it was empty, save a few leftover fish from that morning, clearly past their best. I can only hope it's better stocked first thing in the morning.

The mostly-missing seafood mystery aside, I can highly recommend the Seychelles for a holiday. The beaches are gorgeous, colorful fragrant flowers fill the roadsides and forests, the local dishes are tasty, the beer is great and the people are very friendly. We rented a car and explored the island, finding gorgeous little coves to swim in where we felt like we were the only people on the island. Idyllic indeed.

Anyhoo, that’s a long story for a dish that takes mere minutes to make. Since that night in the Seychelles when we dined on UAE shrimp and sipped on chilled Seybrew lager, I’ve made this dish many times, most recently just two nights ago. It’s become a firm family favorite.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons red curry paste (I use 3 heaped spoons – we like things spicy.)
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 1/2 lb or 675g shrimp, already peeled and cleaned
8 oz or 225g thin noodles
Fine sea salt
1 14 oz or 400ml can coconut cream
Good handful cilantro, chopped

Sauté the onion with olive oil and curry paste in a pan that’s going to be big enough to hold all of the ingredients later.

Once the onion has softened, add 1 1/2 cup or 360ml water with a teaspoon of salt and the noodles. Cook over a low flame with lid on for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the shrimp with another sprinkle of salt.

Cover again and cook until shrimp are pink and the noodles are done. Give the whole thing a stir.

Pour in the coconut cream and stir to combine.

Cook at little longer, until the dish is heated through again. Try not to let it come to a boil though.

Stir and taste for salt, adding more if needed. Stir some of the cilantro into the dish then garnish with the rest.


As the nights turn chillier in many places, my Fish Friday Foodie friends are sharing seafood pasta dishes that should help you warm up. Many thanks to our host this month, Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking! Check out all our creative pasta dishes.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Spicy Bacon-wrapped Shrimp

These spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp will disappear so quickly that you might want to make a double batch. Serve them with some spicy bacon mayo for extra oomph.

I’m not going to give you a big song and dance story today about me and my avid relationship with bacon because no one should have to wait for bacon! My love of bacon has been fairly well documented, to the point that friends and family often send me links to bacon recipes or bacon roses, for which I am grateful. When I read that bacon was chosen as this week’s Sunday Supper theme, I sat down and wrote a list of possible recipes I’d like to share. SO MANY CHOICES. Then I headed to the grocery store.

My list went out the window when I came across the shrimp. Large and luscious, they cried out to be wrapped in bacon! Because my brain works in mysterious ways, I was already picturing them all lined up and skewered so they'd remain upright and their tails would curl up in the oven, creating the perfect little handles with which to eat them.

And so it was.

For the bacon-wrapped shrimp:
22 large shrimp – about 1.15kg or 2 1/2 lbs - before cleaning and peeling
1 lb or 450g bacon (normal, not thick cut)
3-4 hot chili peppers, cut into thin strips
Small handful chives, cut into pieces about the length of your shrimp

Extra equipment: wooden skewers

For the spicy bacon mayo dipping sauce:
1/2 cup or 125g mayonnaise
1 tablespoon bacon/shrimp drippings from baking pan
1 small clove garlic, grated finely
1 teaspoon or more hot sauce
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C.

Peel and clean all the shrimp but leave the tails on.

Use a sharp knife to split the thick part of the shrimp so that they are open enough to put in one or two strips of pepper (depending on your heat threshold) and a couple of pieces of chive.

Cut the bacon slices in half.

Wrap one half bacon slice around each shrimp and secure it with a wooden skewer, cut side up.

Continue wrapping and skewering all the shrimp, cut side up, making sure to leave space between the shrimp.

Place the shrimp in one or more ovenproof pans. The tails should have enough space to curl up as the shrimp cook, creating the little handles I imagined.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crunchy looking.

When the spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp are done, whisk together all the dipping sauce ingredients.

Serve with warm shrimp.


Many thanks to our event manager, Shelby of Grumpy’s Honeybunch and Erica of The Crumby Cupcake for all of their hard work behind the scenes. Check out all the wonderful bacon recipes my Sunday Supper group are sharing today!

Bacon in Appetizers
Bacon in Beverages
Bacon for Breakfast
Bacon for Lunch
Bacon for Dinner
Bacon as a Side Dish
Bacon for Dessert

Pin Spicy Bacon-wrapped Shrimp!


Monday, February 29, 2016

Prawn and Curry Leaf Muffins #MuffinMonday

Aromatic curry leaves, fried till crispy in butter, perfectly complement the butter-fried prawns in these delicious savory muffins. 

I have an editorial calendar where I keep track of upcoming blog posts and what I am planning to cook or bake for different group themes. I penciled in Muffin Monday on the 22nd of February and started thinking about what to bake. If you’ve been reading along here for a while, you know that the new Muffin Monday doesn’t have a theme or prescribed ingredients. We are free and easy on the last Monday of each month. But then I discovered that this was a leap year so the last Monday of the month is actually February 29th. How did I get all the way to the middle of February and just find that out? Seems like it would have come up at some point in December or January at least, right?

Soooooo, I had an idea: A leap of faith muffin. We’d each use an unusual ingredient, one we’ve never used before, at least not in a muffin. I proposed it to the group and, good sports that they are, they all agreed. Make sure you scroll down and check out the link list of muffins. Some of them may look normal to you, but I can assure you that the Muffin Monday bakers have stretched themselves this month!

One of my favorite dishes when we lived in Malaysia was something called Butter Prawns. I’ve only made them myself once because they are a bit of a faff but, dear me, they are divine! Crispy curry leaves, crispy prawns and lots of bits of buttery crumbs. I didn’t do the crumbly part for these muffins but all the butter, curry leaves and prawns still gave me the right flavor I was looking for.

My one attempt at butter prawns

10 medium-sized prawns or shrimp, already cleaned and shelled (Mine weighed 5oz or 140g.)
1/2 cup or 115g unsalted butter
Generous handful fresh curry leaves
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
1 cup or 240ml milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by generously greasing with butter, oil or non-stick spray.

Chop the prawns into three or four pieces and put them in a bowl handy to your stove or cooktop.

Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a small frying pan and then fry the curry leaves briefly.

Remove them quickly with a slotted spoon when they get crispy and are just starting to brown.

Lower the fire and tip the prawns into the browning butter you've left behind.

Cook them till just pink. Remove the whole pan from the heat, add in the rest of the butter and set aside so the additional butter can melt and the prawns can cool.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl with a few generous grinds of fresh black pepper.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs.  Once the prawns are cool enough not to cook the eggs, add them along with the melted butter and stir well.

Add all the milk/egg/prawn mixture to flour bowl.

Gently fold a few turns then add in the crispy curry leaves. Continue folding just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups in your prepared pan.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing muffins from tin.


Take a leap of faith with us this month – Bake some muffins! Many thanks to all the Muffin Monday bakers for playing along.

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Shrimp Creole #FishFridayFoodies

A traditional Cajun recipe, this shrimp Creole is thickened by a roux and flavored with the holy trinity, tomatoes and, of course, a kick of cayenne for spice. 

This month Fish Friday Foodies are sharing international seafood soups and stews at my instigation. I had big plans to make a dish called moqueca, just like my Brazilian friend Betty taught me many, many years ago when we were living in the little oilfield town of Macaé together. But, in the end, my Cajun roots won out, and as you can see, I made shrimp Creole. I’d like to tell you that this is exactly as my grandmothers would have made it, but the honest truth is that I don’t remember ever eating shrimp Creole at either of their houses. I did consult a handful of good Cajun cookbooks though so I’m feeling pretty good about the authenticity. I’ll no doubt hear from my mother if I’ve gone astray and I’ll get back to you with corrections if necessary. But authentic or not, I can promise you it is delicious.

Like all good Cajun recipes, this one starts with a roux and the holy trinity of vegetables, onion, bell pepper and celery. Add in some butter, tomatoes, a little cayenne and a whole mess of shrimp and you’ve got yourself a delicious shrimp stew. Make sure you check out the linky tool (all those photos at the bottom) to see the other great seafood soups and stews my fellow Fish Friday Foodies have made.

1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper or capsicum
1 stalk celery
1/4 cup or 25g flour
1/3 cup or 80ml canola oil
1/4 cup or 63g butter
1 can (14 oz or 400g with juice) whole peeled Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb 13oz or 825g cleaned shrimp or prawns (Mine weighed 4.4 lbs or 1984g with heads/shells on)
Cayenne pepper

To serve:
Cooked rice
Green onions
Louisiana hot sauce

Discard any stems, peels or seeds, then chop your celery, onion and bell pepper up finely.

In a large heavy gauge pot or pan with a tight fitting lid combine the flour and oil to make a roux. Cook the roux over a low to medium heat, stirring often at the beginning and the constantly as it begins to brown.

Eventually you want to get to the color of old copper but be careful not to let it burn.

When the roux is done, add in the chopped vegetables and cook for several minutes, stirring well.

Add in the butter and cook for another few minutes, until the vegetables have completely softened.

Add in the can of tomatoes, half a can of water and the tomato paste.

Stir well and then turn the fire down to a simmer. Pop your lid on the pan and simmer for about half an hour, checking the liquid level and stirring occasionally. Add just a little water if it looks dry.

The tomatoes should break down as well, but feel free to mash them around with your stirring implement to encourage that.

Season the shrimp with a generous sprinkling of sea salt and add them to the pot, stirring well to coat them with the sauce.

Cook over a medium flame for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary and cayenne pepper to taste.

Serve with cooked rice and a good sprinkling of chopped green onions. Put the hot sauce on the table so everyone can help themselves.


Many thanks to our fearless leader, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, and without further ado, here are the rest of our seafood soups and stews of the world:

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of every month. To join our group please email Wendy at

Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.